Right now we are immersed in all of the end of the year [heck — really the end of the decade] hype talking about “how are you going to make your years count?” and “what do you want to change about yourself in the new year/decade?” Well, I am here to tell you that whatever “it” may be that you cannot stop thinking about pursuing / trying / letting go of: just go for it, with fearless hope.
Easier said than done, Julia. I know, I know. As a chronic over-thinker myself, to be able to just act and not analyze every outcome seems liberating, aaaaand impossible. Here’s why it is, in fact, possible.
I have been reflecting quite a bit lately on my decision making habits and my multi-passionate motivation (shout out to Marie Forleos’s book Everything is Figureoutable and introducing me to the term multi-passionate). I began thinking about my behavior in the past and I discovered something wild: there is a part of me [*when the conditions are right] that attempts the Simone-Biles-triple-backwards-layout-flip-a-roo-with-a-blind-landing type of risk-taking without even blinking an eye. Keep in mind: this is being said by the same human who just had a discussion three days ago with a friend about her deep affinity towards routine and normalcy. So, how in the world can we tap in to that fearless hope on the regular and hone it to pursue our passions in the present?
In an attempt to explore the answer, I began writing a list of times that I totally and completely surprised myself in how comfortable I was with risk-taking. From the big to the small. Citing the times that failure wasn’t even an option in my head, normalcy and routine became my fear, and the drive to pursue my passion was the double-trailer-18-wheeler type force guiding my actions.
A few examples that you may, or may not, know about me:
ONE: In 2013 right before the start of my senior year of college I interviewed for an internship with Versace without any formal preparation… and completely bombed it. It was fearless hope that gave me the confidence to take the bus into New York, run 10 blocks in heels with my sister who was my city-guide for the day to make it to the interview… not quite on time… completely belly-flop-failed the interview, then brush it off with the attitude of “at least I tried.” (I still affectionately refer to that day as “the day I interviewed with Versace then had falafel for the first time.”) I went for it. With fearless hope.
TWO: Similarly in 2014, in my last semester of college, I moved in with my Uncle in New Jersey for a full-time internship with Stone and Strand, a fine jewelry e-commerce platform that at the time was in its early stages of starting up. Little old upstate-New-York me [who wouldn’t ever go to our local Price Chopper grocery store alone after dark] conquered the NJ Transit system, Penn Station, and the ACE train to get from Jersey to SoHo every day. (As you may imagine, many additional stories accompany that experience and I am always happy to grab a coffee or bubbly to discuss some those in more detail!) I went for it. With fearless hope.
THREE: In August 2018 I agreed to teach a course for undergraduate students on professionalism and life transition from college into the working world. Me being the girl who was too afraid to raise her hand to ask a question in most classes in undergrad was now going to teach undergrads. I can easily say that being the instructor in a classroom takes a certain amount of vulnerability and confidence that I certainly did not think I ever had. Were some lessons and class discussions better than others? Yes. Did most of my jokes fall flat? Oh heck yes. But none the less I looked at it as an opportunity to hone my voice and become comfortable with leadership. I went for it. With fearless hope.
FOUR: In July 2019, with very little knowledge of what exactly I am doing… I started a blog. Although that voice inside me was saying “no one is actually going to care about what you have to say” and “people aren’t interested in your own challenges and vulnerability” nevertheless here I am writing and sharing about just that. Sharing my experiences and making connections with other humans brings me joy. So, I went for it. With fearless hope.
To some, these examples may seem like a natural progression of maturation or identity development, but to me I am still perplexed at my moxie and fearlessness as most days my default state is “yeah that sounds nice, but the couch is comfortable and safe.” Throughout the process of writing this, I have figured out that the difference in behavior during these moments of complete courage and fearless hope, has been:
the act of me remaining open and letting go of expectation. It is the idea that “at least I tried” is better than “I wish I tried.” It is the idea that taking action and making progress holds more value than waiting for perfection.
As midnight tonight comes and goes and we step into this next decade, I hope you begin to think about what it is that you are going to do next, with fearless hope.
Happy New Year, friends.